Poetry on Odyssey: Three Poems I Wrote This Month

This May, I sat down a few times and scribbled down a few poetry and prose pieces in my notebook. Here they are.

1. "Birthday Squares" 

The cops showed up at your apartment, you called me from behind the church we went to as kids.

We know, like four people that died before eighteen, that's pretty fucked up, right?

When we were younger we bit down on squares at the park like the movies, talked about having an Irish wedding

We can raise our kids here, long as we have a hot tub in the backyard. Otherwise I'll be horribly depressed.

I'll buy you one.

My phone falls apart like paper when you call me in dreams.

"Chicago Water" (Prose)

It's much too easy to forget about the birds in their canopies, perched in the stratosphere above. In fourth grade, you took a field trip to a movie about penguins. You felt safe in the cushioned seats, middle of the row so you went unnoticed, squeezed the chaperone's hand with popcorn butter. You have a twin bed and a tiffany blue bedroom when you come home and it makes you want to scream. Last summer we went to the country club to play croquet, they had finger sandwiches. We drank club soda till our noses bled and fell asleep sunburnt on the balcony. And we used to have this map of Ireland in our basement- we stuck purple pins where we were from and where we wanted to go. You get used to it. You get used to Chicago water again, pass out on the pink line with your old roommate. We sit far away from each other when movies become real. This is a thinking movie, I don't feel like thinking right now. Fathom dimensions on the couch: like something cosmically folded-up right in front of us. Remember the birds, daydream on broken canoes, wait for August.


My parents called last night,

they were tipsy and sunburnt in Florida

and we laughed into the receiver

about how when I was seven I broke my nose

and bled all over the county fair Tilt-A-Whirl

I hung up the phone and puked orange

Pepto-Bismol-tequila-sunrise in the kitchen sink

I cried when we got rid of our old microwave from the '90s

and I cried on our field trip to the cadaver lab

when the esophagus I was poking at had on the same coral nail polish

that we had in the cabinet at home,

I'm not sure I'll learn to let things go

I'm sorry but I threw up again

behind your Crayola-white refrigerator

you watched the blonde girl walk past

your basement couch

where we fell asleep on my half birthday

I buy puke-yellow dye from the dollar store the next day

it colors my hair like mimosas instead

of Gulf of Mexico sunshine like hers

My father says I'm pretty with red hair,

my mom says I look stupid

I say bring back our microwave then we'll talk

tequila makes hardwood floors

breathe beneath my feet

wine makes me want

more bloodshot sunsets

vodka makes me bump teeth

with people I do not know

empty bottles in the garbage,

but champagne makes me believe

in chance meetings and rough hands

and sticky, August Dramamine

Tilt-A-Whirl rides

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